Bobby Jones Golf Course - The Azalea Nine
Interesting 9 hole course in downtown Atlanta
I played the old 18 hole course a couple of times when I was in town and wanted to try the new design. It is 2 9 hole layouts (Magnolia and Azalea) that share large dual greens. You can’t play the 2 9s on the same day - I think they have you tee off from dIfferent tees if you’re playing 18 the same day. The old course had a lot of trees and a fairly crowded design. The new one is open (I played Magnolia) and has 8 sets of tees that are chosen by how far you carry your driver. The standard ones appear to be #5 for men and # 3 for ladies. I played #6 (carry the ball 230-240 with my driver) and that was comfortable.
The fairways and rough seem to be similar, ie, there is no high rough. Drainage wasn’t bad- played just after a rainstorm. The greens are very firm, moderately fast and roll true. The course itself is nicely landscaped, open and moderately challenging-hard to hold iron shots on the greens. The practice facility looks great but I did not use it. Parking is covered. They pro shop is in a temporary trailer. The staff are friendly and very helpful.
Overall would play again but not sure I would do 18 as you’re basically playing the same 9 twice.
Poor conditions and confusing design... an unfortunately discredit to the Bobby Jones legacy
I went to the course with high hopes and an open mind. I had read some articles about the innovative design, reversible nines, and 8 tees box choices. From the first tee I was greatly disappointed.
First, the first tee box was so hard it broke the tee. I had to find a crack in the ground to get a tee in. All the tee boxes were just as hard. The fairways lack any definition and it was hard to know where to aim your drive. The on-cart GPS system was very little help. I hit a fairly good drive. My average drive is about a 200-210 carry with a roll -out to 220-240. I found my shot 280 yards from the tee (cart GPS number). Why? the fairways were rock hard as well. I now had a about 240 to the green on the par 5, so I used my hybrid which normally runs 180-190. I found the ball 20 yards to the green - a 215 shot.
All the fairways were in similar shape. The 270y 4th (I played the Azalea nine from tee 6) had my tee shot on the back of the green 25 yards from the hole. And yes, the green are very large to accommodate the reversible nines. Sure I got a birdie on the card but this in no way reflects my standard level of play. I have never played in the UK but this is how I imagine it is there, play your shot 20-30 short of the green and run it up (because you will never stop a shot into the green). A since many of the holes are doglegs (some are severe semi-circle doglegs) you can easily run out of fairway unless you take a risky line cutting the corner.
The par 4 9th hole (Azalea) is perfect example of the confusing design and haphazard way your are forced to play the course.. On the card it is a par 4, 468 y hole. With no tee box (just a plaque on the ground where you play from) you really don't know where to hit the ball -- no defined fairway just green grass ahead. You see the water fronting the green but it is nearly 330 yards away. My drive went 320 (I did have wind at my back) leaving a comfortable 145 yard shot in. I hit a solid 2nd shot that landed front/center of the green and continued back another 30 yards nearly to the practice putting green. There is no way to hold this green by playing 20-30 yards short because you need to clear the water bank that is just short of the green. I can;t imagine where my ball would have ended up with a shorter drive and a longer iron into this green. It was a frustrating hole and a frustrating round overall to say the least.
I paid for 18 so I teed it up again with hopes of using my new-found knowledge of the layout and playing conditions. Now, the afternoon crowd was playing with hackers lining the fairways, tees, and greens. I quit after 1 hour having played only 3 holes.
This course seems more like a golf playground than a true golf course worthy of the Bobby Jones name an legacy. The 8 sets of tees are somewhat nice idea as you can introduce youngsters and new golfers to the sport but the conditions are not representative of what you will find at 90% of courses in the area or in the USA so the introduction is a false one and perhaps a exasperating one especially when no shot but the most perfectly played will hold the green.
The practice facilities should be the only reason to visit this course. There are two sets of practice tees (both sides of the practice area), two putting areas, a chipping green with sand, and a nice, short "Cupp Links" where you can practice your wedge and short irons shots.
I am not generally this harsh (or this long) with my reviews but this "course" deserves this level of harshness.
The new design is the best they could do with the land, but for $50+ for 9 holes I’ll drive out of Atlanta. If it’s your first time out and you don’t have a regular in your group good luck navigating the course. The tee boxes are barely recognizable and there are two separate 9’s for 9 greens. If my buddy and I weren’t playing with a regular I would have walked off. I understand that they are a new course, but they need to get organized or charge significantly less money.
Where did the $23 million go? (Renovated reversible 9)
Bobby Jones Golf Course is an ultra-common name in the Atlanta golf community, but do not be fooled by the hype the recent renovation has given the course.
Playing here is not the same as playing a full golf course. In fact, it is not very close at all. I genuinely do not understand where the $23 million went to this course.
A list of things not up-to-par.
1. No tee boxes (hard ground with "general tee-box areas"
2. Fairways are just as hard as the tee boxes and the grass is absolutely minimal
3. Because the course is reversible, it's impossible to determine your fairway and sometimes even the direction of the hole.
4. The clubhouse is a trailer
5. One of the holes has a massive fenced off area for storage that is directly in the path your ball needs to go...
6. THE PRICE IS ABSURD FOR THIS COURSE
If this course cost $30 for 18 holes it might be reasonable, but to charge upwards of $65 on the weekends is borderline robbery. I consider this course to be a "winter-only" course for me until the rates drop or the quality increases drastically.
Fun unique experience
Only being open for a month this place is headed in a great direction. Greens rolled true and quick. The design is nice I played the Magnolia routing and would have loved to play the Azalea in the same day so I might be back to try that shotgun they do for that. The carts were awesome and I was surprised I liked the Norman Experience. Great walkable course though.
New Layout Offers New Challenges
The practice facility is top notch. With a full-size range, short game green, and putting green, you can practice whatever club you want to work on.
The nine hole reversible course offers new challenges in terms of length, protected greens, and difficult approach shots. The bermuda greens roll well and will only get better.
Pay attention to the GPS in the carts, it will help you find the fairway for each hole. Because the course is reversible, fairways aren't clearly marked with rough. The entire course is one cut of grass. There may have been some fringe around greens but none to indicate fairway v 2nd cut v rough.
New revolutionary Bobby Jones Golf Course big boost to Atlanta's golf scene
For Atlanta golfers -- and visiting golfers, for that matter -- the new Bobby Jones Golf Course is a gift that should keep on giving. It's just one of a handful of reversible golf courses throughout the country, but it's very unique, even among that group.
This is a completely new design by the late Bob Cupp. And there are really no similarities between what was here before and what Cupp and later his son Bobby Cupp completed. It's nine holes one way and nine mostly entirely different holes the other way, so you definitely feel like you're playing two entirely different golf courses when you play the Magnolia Course vs. the Azalea Course.
My only issue with the course right now is the design of the ninth holes on both courses. Both are par 5s that are pretty much right next to each other (the Azalea is considerably shorter and perhaps reachable in two), but they don't seem well defined, Our group, even with the help of GPS in the carts, was confused on how we should play the holes, especially off the tee. Playing the course multiple times would probably clear up the confusion, but this is the only reason I didn't give the course five stars right off the bat. With that said, if I lived in Atlanta, I would play this course regularly.
Some other cool innovations included the LongLeaf Tee System. Each hole has eight different teeing options, which are suggested not by handicap, but by the golfers' average drives, so all players can reach greens in regulation.
The facility now has great practice facilities, which is a huge boost to this part of Atlanta, which lacked any sort of quality range for at least 10 miles.
And now golfers (as well as tennis players) have new, safer parking options, thanks to parking garage that sits underneath the 12 new hardcourts that were added to Bitsy Grant Tennis Center. It's a symbiotic relationship between golf and tennis I've never seen before.
And finally, conditioning on the fairways and greens is perfect. The Tif-Eagle greens rolled flawlessly. And because of the new model (this course is run by a foundation with involvement from multiple golf associations and serves as the home to the Georgia State University golf team), you can expect conditions to remain top notch. And with dynamic green fees ranging from $40 to $80, including the advanced Greg Norman Experience-equipped Club Cars, that's a pretty good deal.